All signs suggest Duke point guard Kyrie Irving will turn pro this year where he’ll eventually be a top three pick, if not the number one overall. However, with an impending lockout on the horizon and several other marquee players reportedly staying in school (Jared Sullinger and Harrison Barnes), the decision isn’t exactly set in stone at the moment. Well, now it might be. The university’s student paper took the liberty to speak for fans of the program nationwide in an open letter that conjures memories to one Elton Brand received after declaring for the league following his sophomore campaign.
Seriously. Declare for the NBA draft, hire an agent, pick out a nice suit and start practicing to look surprised when your name is one of the first to be called by Commissioner David Stern in June.
I mean, what’s there to lose?
Sure, some of the Cameron Crazies will implore you to consider your legacy as a Blue Devil, to remember the history of the great Duke players before you who went on to successful NBA careers. They’ll probably name drop the likes of Carlos Boozer, Grant Hill and Shane Battier, all guys who won NCAA titles before noteworthy careers in the pros (in spite of playing three seasons or more under one of basketball’s greatest coaches). Don’t follow in the footsteps of William Avery, you’ll be warned; he made the wise decision to leave Duke after his sophomore year, and use the NBA as a stepping stone to an illustrious career in Europe. Don’t let those comparisons get you down, though, even if Avery did get the privilege of watching from the sidelines as his former college teammates celebrated a national championship.
Plus, sticking around and winning a fifth national title for the Blue Devils is just selfish, even if you haven’t ever won one yourself. Think about it: Cameron is already full of national championship banners, and adding one of your own would ruin the symmetry in the rafters. Sure, you’ll give up your chance to be remembered as one of Duke’s all-time greatest basketball players, but I bet if you asked Christian Laettner, he would tell you that fans don’t remember collegiate legacies anyway. Well, at least until he tries to visit Kentucky, where his likeness is still routinely burned in effigy on the anniversary of “The Shot.”
To read the rest, click here. Given the recent publicity about the school and its role of African American players, who actually ok’d this idea? Being fair, Chris Cusak later posted a follow-up letter vehemently claiming it was satirical piece constructed in the interest of the basketball program with no racial undertones. But c’mon pal (yes, “pal”), be real. Just because you cut the oven off doesn’t mean it’s ok to touch it a minute later. With all the beautiful things that undoubtedly come from a Duke education, this is proof common sense isn’t so common in all the Durham co-eds.
I don’t know Cusak personally so labeling the guy as “prejudice” or “Dan Gilbert II” is going overboard. On the contrary, it’s stories in this vein why the masses harbor a venomous resentment towards Duke. Here’s the legendary (and at times equally controversial) predominantly Southern white school who loves their Black basketball players as long they’re running up and down Cameron Indoor Stadium, bringing more banners to hang in their already crowded rafters. That’s not what I’m saying the letter was attempting to convey, but cut your losses before even allowing people to read it to formulate such a thought.
From a pure basketball standpoint, any program who has Kyrie would bend over backwards to keep his services, so that desire is understandable. Writing letters that come off as condescending and insulting in efforts to play some sort of reverse psychology is just plain moronic. Even Duke students who commented on the letter condemned its intentions. The piece would have been better served had it been presented as a “Top 10 Reasons Why Kyrie Should Stay” with number one being, you know, the formation of arguably the most exciting back court in the country between he and Austin Rivers. Just a suggestion in hindsight though.
“Lettergate” (any dispute must end in “-gate” as decided by law) further lets me know the guy who wrote this memorandum will be spending many a nights alone with YouPorn.com. Because let’s just say the kid ultimately leaves Durham and never looks back, Cusak will get about as much love on campus as his open letter did. The NBA and all of its luxuries are provocative enough as is, so if Kyrie feels as if he is being excommunicated from his own campus for possibly making the best decision for him, what is there really left to decide?